Commanders DC Jack Del Rio exits Twitter after Capitol 'dust-up' controversy

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·2-min read

Jack Del Rio seems to be done with Twitter after one of his tweets triggered a series of events resulting in widespread criticism and a $100,000 fine from his own team.

The Washington Commanders defensive coordinator's Twitter account, active since 2016, was apparently deactivated on Saturday. Washington Post reporter Nicki Jhabvala noticed the vacancy.

Del Rio raised eyebrows on Monday when he responded to a tweet from Norm Allen of the Brookings Institute promoting an article explaining the upcoming congressional Jan. 6 hearings. In his reply, Del Rio attempted to equate the deadly Capitol insurrection to the response to the murder of George Floyd in 2020.

The tweet is obviously no longer available, but read:

"Would love to understand 'the whole story' about why the summer of riots, looting, burning and the destruction of personal property is never discussed but this is ???"

Given a chance to follow up on Wednesday, Del Rio created more controversy by trying to minimize the insurrection, in which one police officer died and more than a hundred were injured, as "a dust-up." More criticism followed, including a demand from the NAACP that Del Rio be fired.

Del Rio released an apology through his since-deactivated Twitter account admitting he used a poor choice of words with the Capitol insurrection, but stood by his criticisms of the Floyd protests:

"I made comments earlier today in referencing the attack that took place on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. Referencing that situation as a dust-up was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry. I stand by my comments condemning violence in communities across the country. I say that while also expressing my support as an American citizen for peaceful protest in our country. I have fully supported all peaceful protests in America. I love, respect, and support all my fellow coaches, players, and staff that I work with and respect their views and opinions."

That apology wasn't enough to stop Commanders head coach Ron Rivera from fining Del Rio $100,000 and donating the money to the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund on Friday. Rivera stated the Washington organization would not tolerate any equivalency between the Capitol insurrection and the Floyd protests.

At that point, Del Rio possibly decided his Twitter account was more trouble than it was worth. It was probably his best decision of the week.

Jul 30, 2021; Richmond, VA, USA; Washington Football Team defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio looks on during training camp at Bon Secours Washington Football Team Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
Jack Del Rio received a six-figure fine for his comments on the Capitol insurrection. (Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports)
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